Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
zigzag

'92 Gibson Tennessean

Recommended Posts

Heard a local band with a guy playing a Gibson Chet Atkins Tennessean guitar. I had heard about this guitar, but never seen one. Apparently, when Chet Atkins ended his affiliation with Gretsch, Gibson made this guitar for him. It looks a little like a Gretsch Nashville, but thinner, and it sounds more like a 335. Can anyone give me a little history on this model, and are they still being made? Other than e-bay, where can I get one and how much should I expect to pay?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is one at a local store here in Ga. It's kind of maroon in color, the body shape is like a Gretsch, but thin like a 335. Two humbuckers. Never played it but it is a nice looking guitar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gruhns had one just before I bought my ES-339, but I never did drive over and check it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Concerning the market value, pick up a copy of the Vintage Guitar Price Guide. It will put you in the ballpark. Then contact Norman's Rare Guitars in Tarzana, CA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Gibson Chet Atkins Country Gentleman made on 1990 on sale... which is the sister of the Tennessean... if you are still interested...

 

All the best,

 

Marco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I own a red '90 Tennessean, which was the first year of the model. The pickguard and truss rod cover are clear & painted silver on the backside. At some point soon thereafter, they were changed to black, and a black armrest was added (mine does not have the armrest). The neck scale is 25.5" rather than the more common 24.75" found on most Gibson hollowbodies, and the neck is wider at 1-3/4". I usually like smaller necks, but find the overall profile of this one to be very comfortable (definitely not a baseball bat). Also noteworthy is that it has 16 frets clear of the body, rather than the 14 found on many other single cutaway hollowbodies. In near mint condition, these can go for a bit over $1500. The last few I've seen at Gruhn's were going for $1750, although I saw one a few months ago in a local shop going for only $1200 & was sorely tempted to buy it, but kept saving for a 330L instead. I consider the Tennessean to be a real sleeper. A lot of unique features, with virtually all the capabilities of my 335.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest difference I have seen between the Gibson Tennessean and the Gibson Country Gent is that the Tennessean came with a stop bar and TOM style bridge where as the Country Gent came with a Bigsby and a floating arch-top style bridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest difference I have seen between the Gibson Tennessean and the Gibson Country Gent is that the Tennessean came with a stop bar and TOM style bridge where as the Country Gent came with a Bigsby and a floating arch-top style bridge.

 

For me the biggest difference, as mentioned above, is the fact that the Tennessean has 16 frets clear of the body. The CG has only 14. Also, the Tennessean's cutaway shape is very similar to a 335, and it effectively joins the body at the 18th fret. Body, neck, and fingerboard woods are the same. Pickups are also identical. No question the CG has fancier appointments along with the Bigsby, but I find the Tennessean quite appealing from a playability standpoint.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to have to check one of those out some time. I've thought of picking one up just for the TOM and stop bar set up. Getting a few more frets before the joint would be nice too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did the Tennessean have a chromyte centre block or a maple one? Or did it change from one to the other at some point during its run? I believe the Gent changed from maple to balsa eventually - isn't yours maple inside, Searcy? Don't fear the balsa, though. My Howard Roberts uses it and sounds just dandy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did the Tennessean have a chromyte centre block or a maple one? Or did it change from one to the other at some point during its run? I believe the Gent changed from maple to balsa eventually - isn't yours maple inside, Searcy? Don't fear the balsa, though. My Howard Roberts uses it and sounds just dandy.

 

The Tennessean had a chromyte (basla) center block throughout it's production run. And I agree, it works very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting how the Tennessean changed moving from Gretsch to Gibson

 

And the early Gretsch's were much deeper bodied too....

 

V

 

:-({|=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Tennessean had a chromyte (basla) center block throughout it's production run. And I agree, it works very well.

 

I have always heard that but the center block on my Gibson Country Gent is maple. I would like it more if it were chromeite (Gibsons trade name for balsa) as it would get the weight of this monster down a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always heard that but the center block on my Gibson Country Gent is maple. I would like it more if it were chromeite (Gibsons trade name for balsa) as it would get the weight of this monster down a bit.

 

Searcy - My guess would be that the maple block is most likely giving your CG better sustaining qualities than the later chromyte-equipped models, and probably a punchier tone, too! And surprisingly even with the balsa, my Tennessean still feels pretty darn heavy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is currently (11/17/2014) a nice 1991 Gibson Tennessean for sale on Craigslist (Sarasota, Florida). He ships all over the world, I've bought from him before (no problems), wish I had the $1,600.

Interesting. I looked up the one in Sarasota you mentioned. The seller uses part of my descriptor in post #8 of this thread, saying it came from a blog. Nothing wrong with that. But to be clear, my '90 is somewhat different from the '91 he is selling, having features that only appeared on the 1990 version (see the first few sentences of post #8).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. I looked up the one in Sarasota you mentioned. The seller uses part of my descriptor in post #8 of this thread, saying it came from a blog. Nothing wrong with that. But to be clear, my '90 is somewhat different from the '91 he is selling, having features that only appeared on the 1990 version (see the first few sentences of post #8).

 

I just looked up the Craigslist ad. Wow, small world isn't it. He is using a bit of Card Blanche but it's probably because it was said so well.

 

I checked Gruhn's, Norman's, Google, eBay and Guitar Ctr... nothing else out there. I wonder how many of these guitars they made and what the MSRP was?

 

Bobouz, On another note (pun intended), how did you put that list of guitars & snakehead(?) mandolin into your posts? Is there a link to a tutorial?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just looked up the Craigslist ad. Wow, small world isn't it. He is using a bit of Card Blanche but it's probably because it was said so well.

I checked Gruhn's, Norman's, Google, eBay and Guitar Ctr... nothing else out there. I wonder how many of these guitars they made and what the MSRP was?

Bobouz, On another note (pun intended), how did you put that list of guitars & snakehead(?) mandolin into your posts? Is there a link to a tutorial?

Diamond - Go to the "signature" portion of your profile to add such info at the end of your posts. I do think it's interesting to see what types of instruments people are playing, as it can lead to other questions & discussions. Btw, the mandolin is not a snakehead, but it is from the Loar era & Gibson's initial use of truss rods in 1922.

 

As for the Tennessean, no idea how many were produced, but Gibson's customer service might be able to provide that information. As of yesterday, there was one available on Guitar Center's website, listed as being in excellent condition for $1699. Personally, I'm not too keen on the armrest, which is why I like the 1990 version so much (along with the silver pickguard & TRC on a bright red body!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah yes, there is one at GC in Colorado. One of these days I'm going to have to learn how to spell (Tennessean).

It appears to have Chet Adkins signature both on the truss rod cover and on the wood of the headstock (between the tuners).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah yes, there is one at GC in Colorado. One of these days I'm going to have to learn how to spell (Tennessean).

It appears to have Chet Adkins signature both on the truss rod cover and on the wood of the headstock (between the tuners).

Glad you found it!

 

Yes, I noticed the dual signatures, which was not stock on the TRC - must've been added at some point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Chet Atkins Tennessean was made from 1990 to 2005. They are no longer made. It's a cool guitar for sure.

 

Would you know (about) how many of the these were made and what the MSRP was?

Also, does Gibson currently make anything (Semi-hollow or solid) with a similar neck (neck scale of 25.5" with 1-3/4" nut width and 16 frets clear of the body)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...